Peter Wilson was undoubtedly Great Britain's shooting star at the Royal Artillery Barracks.
The 25-year-old farmer's son from Dorset secured Great Britain's first Olympic shooting medal since 2000 when he struck gold in the double trap.
Shooting was by no means the most popular spectator sport of London 2012 but for half an hour on the first Thursday afternoon of the Games, the nation was gripped.
Wilson led by three shots after the morning qualifiers but a capacity crowd in Woolwich feared the worst when Russia's Vasily Mosin closed to within a point.
Mosin's challenge soon fell away but worse was to come for Wilson when he 'dropped a pair', missing both the clay targets with shots 41 and 42.
"That wasn't in the plan," he admitted. "I think that made everyone a bit nervous, including me."
But, in front of the onlooking Princess Royal, Wilson showed just why he is world number two and world record holder by nailing his final four rounds.
Needing to hit just one of the final two clays, he shattered both before dropping to his knees in tears and receiving a hug from dad Charles.
His 188 total was enough to hold off Sweden's Hakan Dahlby by two points, with Mosin winning bronze.
"The last four pairs, I don't know how I did it," Wilson added. "How does a farm boy from Dorset prepare for that?
"It comes down to all the training I've done for these last six years.
"I really didn't know how I did it, but I did, and the last pair was very special."
Elsewhere, veteran Richard Faulds, who took gold in the double trap at Sydney 2000, finished 12th in qualifying.
But there is hope for the future after 21-year-old James Huckle held his own among a vastly experienced field, placing 25th in the rifle three positions.
Rory Warlow and Richard Brickell were only two points short of qualifying for the skeet final and Jonathan Hammond was 17th in the rifle 50m prone.